It is the day of surgery. I am in a chair all ready to go and waiting while they prepare the operating table for me to slide on to. My surgeon comes in and says she got the results of the MRI back last night. She looks concerned, but I realize she is just pondering as she tells me the MRI was “clean”. What does that mean?! She says only 2 times in her career has she seen such a good MRI and that there is only one suspicious area in the lymph node. So I ask why we don’t just take out the lymph node. She says that it would be impossible for there not to be microscopic cells still there because of the nature of this cancer but the fact that the previous lesions and tumor were gone was remarkable and that we should move forward with high hopes.
So I let them strap me to the cross (that’s what the table looks like) and inject the drugs that make my head feel like it’s going to implode and then it all goes black.
I wake up in pain, but much less than I expected. I have drains and bandages and an ice bag on my flattened chest. I am not as horrified as I thought I would be. Still, it is shocking to see myself and I cry. The nurses are angels and half a dozen gorgeous flower arrangements arrive from various friends and family. Friends and family show up and people start calling to check on me. By evening I am exhausted but I feel supported and that feels good.
The next day I go home and I am so glad to get to my own surroundings. I relax and keep ice on my chest and lots of people call and drop by. My friends from my church have arranged to bring dinner to Mont and me for a week. I tell them it isn’t necessary, but they really want to do something for us and insist on it so they bring this delicious dinner and nobody appreciates it more than my weary husband. It was nice.
I am trying to get used to the change in my body. It is still a little shocking, but I am trying to cope. During this first night home I wake up in the middle of the night in pain and I get up to take a pain pill. I go into the living room to lie on the sofa so I don’t disturb Monty and I start to sob. My teeth chatter and I know I have to burn off this trauma energy. Monty feels me get out of bed and comes looking for me. He kneels down by me and gathers me up in his arms and says “You’re my girl, and you’ll always be my girl, and you can do this!” That’s all he said. The most perfect words of encouragement I have ever heard. I sleep pretty well after that.
We won’t have the results of the biopsies for several days because of the weekend.
I am physically miserable and every now and then I get bizarre sensations in the area of my missing tissue. Ouch. It is a nasty incision but I seem to be healing rapidly and without incident so far. I’ll just have to get through this. One more step of the thousand step journey completed. Whew!